Orange cone season opens as Department of Transportation announces 2023 road projects
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo
As the weather warms up, the orange cones are first to fully bloom. On Wednesday, the Utah Department of Transportation announced their projects for 2023. UDOT has 217 projects scheduled to start, or already under construction, with a combined value of $3.2 billion.
This means there will be 217 different work zones across the state where drivers will need to use caution and stay alert to keep themselves and construction crews safe, according to John Gleason, UDOT public communications director.
“This is one of our biggest construction years, with major projects happening all across the state,” Lisa Wilson, UDOT deputy director for engineering and operations, said in a press release. “We are working to help people in all parts of Utah stay connected to the things they care about: family, school, work, and recreation.”
Major projects include a brand-new highway, new interchanges, widened freeways and highways, new paths for pedestrians and cyclists, maintenance to keep roads and bridges in good condition, and improved access to a new state park.
Major projects slated for Utah County include:
- Pleasant Grove Boulevard – $15.9 million. UDOT is widening Pleasant Grove Boulevard to make it easier to access northbound Interstate-15. This project also widens the Pleasant Grove Boulevard/North County Boulevard intersection to add new turning lanes, installs new traffic signals, and repaves sections of North County Boulevard.
- I-15 lane striping throughout Utah County – $11.6 million. Crews are replacing or improving lane markings on I-15 from Payson to Lehi, which will make these markings easier for drivers to see in all conditions. This is the first phase of a larger project that will eventually include many other sections of freeway along the Wasatch Front.
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
Other major UDOT projects include:
- Bangerter Highway in Salt Lake County – $378.5 million. This project will construct four new freeway-style interchanges with on- and off-ramps at 2700 West, 13400 South, 9800 South, and 4700 South, eliminating stoplights at four more intersections for drivers on Bangerter Highway.
- 5600 South in Weber County – $238 million. UDOT will reconstruct the 5600 South interchange on I-15 in Roy near Hill Air Force Base, and widen 5600 South from three lanes to five lanes between 1900 West and 3500 West.
- 9000 South in Salt Lake County – $56.6 million. Crews will widen 9000 South between Redwood Road and 700 West from five to seven lanes, replace pavement on 9000 South from 700 West to State Street, and add bike lanes to the road.
- West Davis Highway in Davis County – $750 million. UDOT’s largest current project is building a new four-lane divided highway from Farmington to West Point along with 10 miles of new trails.
- State Route 108 in Davis County – $71 million. Crews will widen SR-108 between West Point and Clinton, adding a new travel lane in each direction along with a new multi-use path.
- Redwood Road in Taylorsville – $8.5 million. UDOT will widen Redwood Road in Taylorsville from 6200 South to the I-215 interchange, and add lanes to the eastbound and westbound on-ramps to I-215.
- U.S. Route 40 in Wasatch County – $9.9 million. This project replaces sections of concrete pavement north of Heber City as well as the bridge driving surface at the Mayflower exit.
- I-15 bridge repairs in Juab County – $17.8 million. This maintenance project will replace the driving surface on two bridges and complete various repairs on nine others near Nephi.
- State Route 132 in Sanpete County – $8.7 million. UDOT will add new passing lanes in both directions on SR-132 north of Fountain Green to improve safety for drivers.
“In 2022, there were 1,297 work zone-related crashes on Utah roads, and 11 people lost their lives in those crashes. Warmer weather months, when more projects start due to the higher temperatures required for asphalt paving, are also when more crashes occur – June (138) and September (136) were the months with the most work zone crashes last year,” reads a UDOT press release. “With all these work zones in place or starting up, UDOT reminds drivers to use caution, be alert and obey posted signs and speed limits.”
In construction zones, lanes can be narrow, pavement may be uneven, and crews and equipment may be working close to traffic. Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
Pleasant Grove bridge update
UDOT announced on Thursday that I-15 would close nightly in alternating directions for “bridge inspection and maintenance” at exit 275, the Pleasant Grove interchange. It will be closed northbound on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 a.m. each night, according to a release. The freeway will be closed southbound on Monday and Tuesday from midnight until 5 a.m.
Crews will be on site and begin closing lanes as early as 7 p.m. Pleasant Grove Boulevard will also be closed at I-15 each night, the release reads.